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Kennedy Giving Historic Speech to Congress

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Kennedy Giving Historic Speech to Congress

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President John F. Kennedy in his historic message to a joint session of the Congress, on May 25, 1961 declared, "...I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth." This goal was achieved when astronaut Neil A. Armstrong became the first human to set foot upon the Moon at 10:56 p.m. EDT, July 20, 1969. Shown in the background are, (left) Vice President Lyndon Johnson, and (right) Speaker of the House Sam T. Rayburn. ..Image # : 70-H-1075

John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963), commonly referred as JFK, served as the 35th President of the United States from January 1961 until his assassination in November 1963. After military service in the United States Naval Reserve in World War II, Kennedy represented Massachusetts's 11th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1947 to 1953. He was elected to the U.S. Senate and served as the junior Senator from Massachusetts from 1953 until 1960. Kennedy defeated Vice President, and Republican candidate, Richard Nixon in the 1960 U.S. Presidential Election. At age 43, he became the youngest elected president. To date, Kennedy has been the only Roman Catholic president. Kennedy's time in office was marked by high tensions with a Communist block. The Cuban Missile Crisis, The Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the establishment of the Peace Corps, developments in the Space Race, the building of the Berlin Wall, the Trade Expansion Act to lower tariffs, and the Civil Rights Movement all took place during his presidency. In Cuba, a failed attempt was made at the Bay of Pigs to overthrow Fidel Castro in April 1961. In October 1962, it was discovered Soviet ballistic missiles had been deployed in Cuba; the resulting period termed the Cuban Missile Crisis, is seen by many historians as the closest the human race has ever come to nuclear war. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested and determined to have fired shots that hit the President. Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby mortally wounded Oswald two days later in a jail corridor. The FBI and the Warren Commission officially concluded that Oswald was the lone assassin, but its report was sharply criticized. The United States House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) agreed that Oswald fired the shots that killed the president, but also concluded that Kennedy was likely assassinated as the result of a conspiracy. The majority of Americans alive at the time of the assassination and now, believe that there was a conspiracy and that Oswald was not the only shooter. "Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind."

NASA Photo Collection

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1961
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